Saints look to rebound on home ice Saturday

Trinity Western will be the next test for the Selkirk squad after hitting a two-loss speed bump on the road.

Logan Proulx of the Selkirk Saints will look to help his team improve on their 8-6-0-3 record on Friday

Logan Proulx of the Selkirk Saints will look to help his team improve on their 8-6-0-3 record on Friday

The Selkirk College Men’s Hockey program will look to rebound from their first two losses of the 2013/14 B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season on Saturday night when they host Trinity Western University in Castlegar (7:30 PM, Castlegar Recreation Complex).

Trinity Western looks to be the league’s most-improved squad this season, as the Spartans have opened with four wins in five games after finishing at the bottom of the BCIHL standings during the 2012/13 campaign. After defeating Thompson Rivers on the road in their season opener, TWU picked up six of a possible eight points during weekend homestands against Eastern Washington and UVic.

“It’s really night and day, the difference between TWU this season compared to last season,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “They’ve always been a hard-working team, but the discipline and attention to detail that (new head coach) Barret (Kropf) has brought to their group is impressive. We have a point to prove coming off a disappointing performance last weekend, and I’m sure they feel the same way coming into our rink tied with us in the standings.”

The Spartans have been led offensively by rookie forward J.P. Villeneuve, who was a Junior A standout last season with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. He’s tallied a goal and five assists through five games.

But TWU’s most outstanding performer has been second-year goaltender Harry Fredeman, who is dominating most of the league’s statistical categories for netminders including goals-against average (1.15) and save-percentage (.966). The 21-year old is the BCIHL’s reigning Player of the Week and has posted shutouts in two of his last three starts.

“Fredeman played some great hockey last season and held Trinity in some games, but this year his game is on another level and he’s stopping anything you let have a good look at,” says Dubois. “The challenge for our group will be to make things tough on him with traffic and battles around the net.”

The Saints are expected to be without leading scorer Connor McLaughlin, who is recovering from a skate cut injury sustained in Saturday’s game at Simon Fraser University. But Selkirk has been receiving offence from three different forward lines, and has captain Logan Proulx in the midst of a six-game point streak.

Tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at the door for $8 (Adults) and $5 (Selkirk students & staff, seniors, children 6 & older).